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Thread: Bought home, need help with water softener

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ReFLeX's Avatar
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    Default Bought home, need help with water softener

    Hey guys, I'm a young and just bought my first home. It was foreclosed and was vacant for at least 6 months prior to my purchase. I know absolutely nothing about water softeners.

    I have city water, but it is hard. The softener has been unplugged ever since I've seen it. I believe it is a Treck 2510?

    There's a few gallons in the tank next to it, with some undissolved salt at the bottom it looks like. I also don't know what I should do about the settings. See Pictures.

    What do I need to do to get this thing up and running properly?
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  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I'm gonna assume that it was properly programmed so all you should nerd is to fill the brine tank with salt and set the timer for the correct time of day.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    And after putting salt in the salt tank, letting it set for 3 hours and start it into a regen cycle. do so again the next day and the system should clean up and return to normal.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I'm gonna assume that it was properly programmed so all you should nerd is to fill the brine tank with salt and set the timer for the correct time of day.
    Would "properly programmed" be for his size family or the previous owner's family?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Lets get him up and running first and then we can dial it in if needed......

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Maybe you guys missed him saying;

    ***************
    I also don't know what I should do about the settings. See Pictures.

    What do I need to do to get this thing up and running properly?
    ***************

    And what do you tell him if it runs and regenerates like every other night because it's way too small for his family or not "programmed properly"? I'd answer him but I can't read the dial and I don't know how many people are in his family. You guys could have asked him how many. Well I'm thinking not Tom, he doesn't know to ask.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Maybe you guys missed him saying;

    ***************
    I also don't know what I should do about the settings. See Pictures.

    What do I need to do to get this thing up and running properly?
    ***************

    And what do you tell him if it runs and regenerates like every other night because it's way too small for his family or not "programmed properly"? I'd answer him but I can't read the dial and I don't know how many people are in his family. You guys could have asked him how many. Well I'm thinking not Tom, he doesn't know to ask.
    I'm thinking you are still an idiot. Let's see if it works first rather than waste time if it doesn't
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member ReFLeX's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    Some more info:
    House was built in 2000. 3 bedroom 2.5 bath ranch. It's just my wife and I.

    Will give this a go today and post back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    And after putting salt in the salt tank, letting it set for 3 hours and start it into a regen cycle. do so again the next day and the system should clean up and return to normal.
    Forgive me, but how do I set it to a regen cycle? Do I wait 3 hours to plug it in or do it when I put salt in?
    Last edited by ReFLeX; 12-18-2012 at 05:36 AM.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    ReFlex, it's "Fleck", not Treck, and it's generally considered to be a fine valve. I've got the non-metered version of your valve, which I think is a Fleck 2510EC. If I'm right, a service and startup manual can be found on line by Googling "The Fleck 2510 Econominder Metered On Demand Water Softener" and checking out the first few hits. Read that over to get familiar with the unit and terminology, then come back with your specifics (water test results and expected demand, based on number of fixtures, family size, etc.), and the experts here might give you some help. Setting the unit up properly is a fairly simple step-by-step process. The hard stuff is some internal settings in the valve, which we can probably assume were set during the original installation by somebody who knew what he was doing. All that's left is the easy stuff -- setting the time of day, and the number of gallons of water to treat before regenerating. To set the latter correctly, we need to know your specific numbers.

    While you're waiting for advice, you could start by just emptying and cleaning the brine tank (the big tank with the undissolved salt in the bottom), and going out to the nearest Sam's or Costco and picking up a few bags of salt -- I usually buy 8 at a time. The odds are high that everything else is OK. Worst case, you might have to replace the media, but I doubt that will be the case, and there are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do that.

    Update: See the lttle instruction plate on the front that tells you how to regnerate? Follow those instructions. Maybe read the manual first... I think the advice to wait 3 hours is to give the salt time to dissolve. So the sequence would be: clean brine tank (if necessary -- your call), add some salt (say 3 bags to get started), add 5 gallons of water for startup, wait 3 hours, plug it in, then turn the knob as directed.

    Another update: Google {Penn State F-141 "Water Softening" } for a brief guide to what water softening is al about. Also, as they point out, you can call your local utility to get your current water test values. A local test is better, but their data is government-mandated, and so is good enough for government work.
    Last edited by Mikey; 12-18-2012 at 05:43 AM.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member ReFLeX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    ReFlex, it's "Fleck", not Treck, and it's generally considered to be a fine valve. I've got the non-metered version of your valve, which I think is a Fleck 2510EC.

    Update: See the lttle instruction plate on the front that tells you how to regnerate? Follow those instructions. Maybe read the manual first... I think the advice to wait 3 hours is to give the salt time to dissolve. So the sequence would be: clean brine tank (if necessary -- your call), add some salt (say 3 bags to get started), add 5 gallons of water for startup, wait 3 hours, plug it in, then turn the knob as directed.

    Another update: Google {Penn State F-141 "Water Softening" } for a brief guide to what water softening is al about. Also, as they point out, you can call your local utility to get your current water test values. A local test is better, but their data is government-mandated, and so is good enough for government work.
    Thank you. Not sure why I typed treck when I meant fleck, haha thanks. I do have the manual which was left by the previous owners. I just didn't know what I should be reading out of it for this. It is becoming more clear now. Thanks! The person who installed it wrote some settings down on the inside cover as well. I can post those after work.

    Also, you mention the instruction plate that says how to regenerate. Is this in my image?
    I see the time of day, start cycle, and capacity. Start cycle and regenerate same thing?

    Sounds all easy enough. I'll report back after work. Thanks for the help. I've only maintained an operating unit before never started one up, and so I appreciate your patients!
    Last edited by ReFLeX; 12-18-2012 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Phone typos

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    ReFlex... we were both typing at te same time....You can also get the manual from www.fleckcontrols,com.

    Check your number of people with the number on the dial of the valve. Call your water company and ask what the max hardness is in their system. You use that figure as your hardness, there will not be any iron in your water if they chlorine the water.

    Using the valve manual. check to see how many grains of hardness is programmed on your valve. To change the number of people and the hardness you pull out the clear plastic part with the numbers etc. on it and rotate to your numbers.

    If you change either or both those numbers, you will need to change the salt dose lbs also. That is done 'behind' the front of the timer and you have to disconnect the meter cable from the dome shaped piece (the actual meter) behind the valve before you open the timer 'door' to get to the back but, you need to know how to determine the correct number of lbs which id controlled by the number of minutes the refill position of a regeneration runs for. That is based on how many pins or holes you have in a pin wheel and you don't want to change any of that until you know what pins or holes to change.

    You don't add 5 gallons of water to the salt tank unless you clean the tank. If you don't clean it, be careful if you fill the tank with salt that you don't cause salt water to over flow salt water on the floor. There is an elbow on the side of the tank that will allow that overflow.

    Click on the link in my signature for more info on calculating the number of lbs of salt etc..
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 12-18-2012 at 06:18 AM.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReFLeX View Post
    Also, you mention the instruction plate that says how to regenerate. Is this in my image?
    I see the time of day, start cycle, and capacity. Start cycle and regenerate same thing?
    Yes and yes...

  13. #13
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I would recommend sanitizing the system as well as manually cleaning out the brine tank. While there are many opinions on this, common sense should dictate that cleaning a brine tank is a good idea. When it is low on salt, empty it out, hose it out, and wipe it down with regular household bleach, diluted to about 1 cup per gallon max. Put salt in, a few gallons of water, and a quarter cup of bleach, allow it to sit for an hour or so, then turn the dial with the white dot on it clockwise one "click", the system will take over from there.

    As to programming it correctly, you must know your hardness levels to program it properly. I would recommend purchasing a Hach 5B test kit, or you can call your water supplier, they will have a proper water report that must be made readily available to you. Once you have the hardness, we can walk you through the rest easily.

    Congrats, your control valve is one of the best available. The Fleck 2510 is probably one of the top 5 residential controls ever made.

  14. #14
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    The Fleck 2510 is probably one of the top 5 residential controls ever made.
    I've had no problems with mine for 12 years. It's a manually-controlled valve; can it be upgraded to the metered version? Is it worth it at this point in its life, or would I be better off replacing it?

  15. #15
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Converting will cost nearly the same as replacing the valve with a new one. It needs the meter assembly, and a powerhead, and after 12 years, you should probably rebuild the valve if you are doing that much work to it. Cheaper and easier to simply replace it with a new metered 2510.

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